I can’t tell you how true this is. I really can’t, because to tell it to you would imply I could understand it, communicate it, and you could understand it too. I don’t think either of us is capable of this kind of understanding. For to understand the worthiness of God would also be to understand His eternal and infinite nature. My human mind just isn’t up to the task. But I can easily say “You are worthy!” and fully believe and trust every word of it. For God is worthy.

The writer names three things that God is worthy of 1) glory, 2) honor, and 3) power. This statement by the way is communicated to the Lord via the 24 elders that surround the throne. That offers a little context here, as the source of God’s praise and glory here does not come from an earthly source, but from these creatures in Heaven who in all likelihood represent the Church and Israel. In context, before they offer this word of praise, these 24 elders cast the crowns from their heads before the throne, an act of utter submission and humility before the One who sits on the throne. If there are any who understand among the human race what these three things are, I would hope it would be these glorified men before the throne of God. This raises the stakes of understanding, as they have a deeper understanding of the very things we are discussing.

So whatever glory these elders have received (they are wearing crowns and have received some glory to be able to sit in the presence of the throne), the One who sits on the is worthy of more glory. Whatever honor these men have received for the same, the One who sits on the throne is worthy of more honor. Whatever power these men have to sit at foot at the throne, the One who sits on the is worthy of more. For all the glory, honor and power they have been given, it is nothing compared to the One who sits on the throne, the Eternal One, the All-Powerful One. Even these men in their glorified state know that they are not the One.

If these glorified Elders can acknowledge the glory, honor, and power of the One, what are we doing? We have no glory, no honor, and certainly no power, yet we grasp at it ourselves, claiming some kind of divine favor because God loves us. Compared to Him, we are microbes, and that’s being generous. The only grace, glory, honor, and power we have is what He has given to us, to use for His glory. There can be no pride in the presence of a Christian. It is anathema to God, for whom all credit for all things is due. He is the Creator. He made all things. He deserves all the praise, because all things owe Him their existence. He ALONE is worthy. We are privileged, PRIVILEGED, to receive any grace whatsoever.

I am sorry, we must start here, with who God is, Hie eternal nature, His worthiness, His absolute sovereignty over the universe, before we can being to understand Jesus, and what it meant for Jesus to become a man, lay His life down for us, bearing upon Himself the weight of man’s sin before this Almighty God. As worthy and amazing as God is, the Lamb is given this honor:

“When He [the Lamb] took the scroll, the four living creatures and the 24 elders fell down before the Lamb. Each one had a harp and gold bowls filled with incense, which are the prayers of the saints. And they sang a new song: ‘You are worthy to take the scroll and to open its seals, because You were slaughtered, and You redeemed people for God by Your blood from every tribe and language and people and nation.'”
(Rev 5:8-9)

That’s Jesus. That’s the Jesus who came from the worthy God and demonstrated that worthiness before us. Jesus showed us what God’s worthiness means. He is worthy of glory, honor and power, not just because he sits on a distant throne and surveys the universe He created. That alone would have been enough, more than enough. But He also sent His Son, His equal, His second Person of a Divine triunity we still do not understand, both God but also Man. This One showed us what God’s worthiness means. He would give it all up, all the glory, honor, and power, to live as one of us, to tell us about Himself, and ultimately to die in our place. He would take all of the offenses against HImself that all of us have or will ever commit, and took the penalty upon Himself. He is both a just God, and a God willing to pay the price for His own justice.

All for you.

Who is worthy? He is.

Lord Jesus, Son of God, the Lamb who bears the sins of the world, oh my God, may I never forget all that You are. I am ever in Your debt, because I can never repay what I owe you. All that I have is Yours, for it was Yours from the beginning. May I be of service to You today, casting aside my foolish pride, so that You may count me as one of Yours. In Jesus’ Name I pray, Amen.

Genesis 40 Revisited

Genesis 40 presents a short story that 1) establishes Joseph’s ability to interpret dreams, and 2) provides a connection to the Pharaoh later on (when he has disturbing dreams). As such, the chapter feels like connective tissue for the larger narrative, not really significant in itself, but important because it connects the larger story. I really had not given this story much thought on it’s own, until I began to notice significant details, it seems to me, carefully chosen details, that demonstrate significant prophetic elements of the Christ and His dual nature.

To summarize, the story is about two servants of Pharaoh, the cupbearer and the chief baker, who for unknown reasons are thrown into prison where Joseph is. They both have striking dreams which make them unsettled. As Joseph interprets both dreams they discover their unique fates three days hence. The cupbearer will be restored to Pharaoh’s service. The chief baker will be beheaded and impaled on a tree. As you read through the chapter, it becomes obvious that elements of Christ’s story are involved.

The cupbearer represents Christ’s divine nature. He was sent to prison, just as Christ was sent to earth, where he resided for some time. Since he is called a cupbearer, he resembles Christ’s role to the One who bears the cup of God’s wrath. It is because of Pharaoh’s fierce anger that the cupbearer is in prison. But this cupbearer will be resurrected after three days and restored to his position in Pharaoh’s court, just as Christ died, was in the grave three days, and was resurrected to the right hand of the Father. Christ bore the full cup of the wrath of God in Himself, and even prayed that the cup would pass from Him in the garden. Christ was the divine Cupbearer raised to life.

The chief baker, on the other hand, did not see life at the end of three days. As the baker of bread, he represents the body of Christ, just as the cupbearer represents the blood. The baker’s specific charge is never given, just as Jesus was innocent before God. The baker’s three days preceded his death, both beheaded and impaled. He could never be hung by a rope as hanging by gallows had not been invented yet, and he had no head to hang him. He was impaled on a tree.

The specifics to each man, their dreams, and their fulfillments could have been anything. All that was needed was to get Joseph established as an interpreter of dreams and a man at Pharaoh’s side at the right time, and yet, these two men and their two dreams offer pieces of the Christ story to those who look for them. Though the two men themselves are incidental, it seems to me that their stories, intertwined with Joseph, are intended to point to the Savior, Jesus Christ. Joseph in many ways is the Savior of Israel in Genesis. So when we see an episode like Genesis 40 that contains “a filler story”, we need to stop, take a look around, and ask questions like, “why is this story here?” Even insignificant stories in the Bible are important.

The same God who gave these men their dreams also gave Joseph their interpretation. Though no one realized it at the time, God was telling Joseph the story of His own Son, His death by crucifixion, His sacrificial death, even though He’s done no wrong. For the Father’s fierce anger over sin He would bear that wrath, but would also be raised to glory, through these two men, caught in circumstances bigger than themselves, God would tell the story of His Son, who is both bread and cup, flesh and blood, Man and God. All the pieces are there. They are just in a different order.

The problem with this is that no one else in Scripture picks up on it. No one tugs at this thread to unravel the story and show it as Christological. Far less significant texts in Genesis are dealt with Christologically, like Genesis 3:15, the character of Adam, the “seed” of Abraham, the character of Abraham and his justification by faith, the opposition of Hagar and Sarah as Sinai and Zion, etc. Joseph is never treated Christologically in the New Testament. He’s never considered a type of Christ formally, and he,s only mentioned in Acts 7 in Stephen’s sermon, in Hebrews 11:22 and Revelation 7:8. Only Stephen takes any time with Joseph, but not as a Christ figure. In the Old Testament, it seems his progeny, Ephraim, soiled the name of Joseph, as Ephraim became synonymous with the rebellious northern Kingdom of Israel.

So as it is, take this interpretation with a grain of salt. There is no New Testament precedent for taking this story for any more than it is, but as it stands, the details are fascinating. As some have said, Jesus can be found in all the books of the Old Testament. As Jesus said, those with eyes to see and ears to hear will find the kingdom. Maybe this is one place to look.



If you’ve lived any length of time, you will have experienced your share of wounds. When I was a teenager, I took out the trash because my mother told me to. Little did I know, a piece from that trash bag had cut into the side of my hand, and even today I can see that scar. I have other scars, evidence of wounds I’ve suffered in the past, and each of them tell a story. Somehow, we manage to survive our wounds to bear the scars.

Jesus had wounds, the worst of which He experienced at the cross. He bore wounds from the lashing of the whips and scourging. His back was laid open to the bone from the intensity of that punishment, but at least He could still breathe, though blood loss was going to complicate things. He bore wounds on his scalp from the crown made from a thorn-bush. The thorns were easily two inches long and were thrust upon his head in a grotesque mocking of his true royalty. He led through the streets of Jerusalem, humiliated by the crowds, bearing the wounds of their insults and derision. Finally, the wounds that would scar Him forever, nails were pounded into his hands and feet into wood, and there held aloft on the cross. There, He could not breathe, but for a few strangled gasps. Still, He stayed there three hours, bearing the insults of the religious elite, and even those who called Him the “Son of David” and cried “Hosanna” just a few days earlier. He died there, asking His Father to forgive them.

A week after He rose from the dead, He appeared to Thomas, who doubted that Jesus had actually risen. Jesus appeared to Thomas and asked him to touch where the nails had bit into his hands and feet, and where the spear had been thrust into His side. He said this to prove to Thomas that He was the same Jesus who had died, and not an some heavenly imposter. Thomas said the only thing he could have, “My Lord and my God!” The resurrected Jesus bears the wounds He suffered for us for eternity. Just as He continues to save us from our sins, so He continues to bear the wounds that delivered us from sin. “By His wounds, we are healed.”

Just as your wounds tell a story, so do His. His tell the story of His great love for His brethren, His love for His bride. It seems that we too have this story to tell of the wonders of His great love.

Dear Jesus, thank You for reminding me today that I am bought at a great price. Just as the story of the man who found a pearl and sold all that he had, So You gave all that You had to purchase me. I am no longer my own, but I am Yours. There is a divine slavery, in which the Owner bought His servants with His own lifeblood, and the servants are forever grateful. May we each realize that our slavery to to our benefit and to the benefit of the world. In Your Name I pray dear Jesus, Amen.



I feel a bit more certainty than my brother the prophet Zephaniah. On the Day of the Lord’s anger, which many feel is even today, I know where my soul is going.

Righteousness and humility both seem to be at the heart of this text. This isn’t a relative righteousness where you compare yourself to your neighbor and tell yourself, “At least I’m not as bad as that guy.” This is an absolute righteousness, where the standard and model you compare yourself to is Jesus Christ. God does not grade on a curve, but on grace. He knows you cannot measure up, so He sent His Son to die on a cross for you, so that you would believe on Him and accept His gift of righteousness in exchange for your filthy rags.

For humility, I can think of no better example than the Holy Spirit. Consider that the third person of God, co-equal with God in every way, calls no attention to Himself. God the Father is the Creator, the Provider, the King of the Universe. Jesus the Second Person of God is the Savior, the One who rose from the dead and offered eternal life to all who believe. But the Third Person of God, the Holy Spirit, simply points to the Father and the Son. He does not glorify Himself or point to Himself, but points others to the Father and the Son. I think this is why there is such stern penalty against blaspheming the Holy Spirit. All the Holy Spirit wants to do is to bring us through the Son to the Father. He doesn’t ask for praise or worship Himself. I think in many ways, the Holy Spirit is the humility of God, and the reason He calls us to humility. As much as there is glory, laud, and honor for the Father and the Son, there is humility in the Spirit showing us what it means to be co-equal with God, and yet desire only that you give glory to the Father and the Son. What would it mean for your life if you only worked to bring people to the feet of Jesus, instead of taking any praise for yourself?

No one of us can live up to the standards set by God in Christ and in the Holy Spirit, but thankfully, Jesus came and lived out these ideals for us. We then trust in Him to school us and raise us up according to His word, that in every day and every way, we work to be more like Him. Let us praise the Name of Jesus before the Father!

Lord Jesus, thank You for taking this one for the team. Because of You, I have a chance, no, a certainty by my faith in You to spend eternity with You in Heaven. May every day be a day that I give honor to my calling. In Your Name I pray, Amen.



After a long day at work, the first thing I want to do when I get home is to sit down. I want to be able to rest after my long bout with the world and its worries. Of course, I don’t get to sit down for long, since there are always more things that need to be done. (I have to write a blog of course.) But there are few things that compare to being able to rest after your work is finished. I can imagine that something like what the Son of God felt.

You see in our text above, Jesus sat down at the right hand of God after He had finished the work of saving us all from sin. He had expended great effort in shedding His blood upon the cross and rising from the grave. I would guess that the power expended on those two acts rivaled the power expended at creation.For this God who knew no sin suffered and bore the sins of the world. This God who is Life Eternal died. As someone once said, “I usually do two impossible things before breakfast.” God certainly did. In Him were these two great ironies. He who is the Judge suffered the penalty for sin. He who is Lord served all. “God proved His own love toward us in this, that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”

So when you see Christ sitting down at the right hand of God, you see a Christ who has finished His work. There is no more work that needs to be done in the saving of the world. His plan is complete.

“And he did not enter to offer himself again and again, the way the high priest enters the sanctuary year after year with blood that is not his own, for then he would have had to suffer again and again since the foundation of the world. But now he has appeared once for all at the consummation of the ages to put away sin by his sacrifice. And just as people are appointed to die once, and then to face judgment, so also, after Christ was offered once to bear the sins of many, to those who eagerly await him he will appear a second time, not to bear sin but to bring salvation.”
(Heb 9:25-28)

So the next time you see Him, it will be to welcome you home. That’s when your work will truly be done. And you too will be able to rest in his presence. That’s why the rest of this verse stresses our service and obligation to Him for our salvation. We must keep our eyes on Him, our only hope in this world, as our sure beginning and finisher of the faith to which we have applied ourselves, and in which we are saved.

Christian, we owe today and every day to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Every minute is His. Don’t forget today who you Master is, for He has given everything for you. Mind what you have given Him today.

Lord Jesus, both author and perfecter of my faith, lead me today in Your service, showing me what you would have me do to follow You. Every minute I possess is Yours. Nothing I have do I own of myself, but I am steward of all You have given me. Show me today what I can do to further and advance Your Kingdom. In Your Name I pray, Amen.

It’s Jesus!


“You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt has become tasteless, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled under foot by men. “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden; nor does anyone light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. “Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.
(Mat 5:13-16)

Have you been one waiting on Jesus to come back? Are you looking at the world around you and saying to yourself, “Anytime now, Lord”? I recently saw a meme with the caption, “Looking out my window to see what chapter of Revelation we’re living this week.” I think that capture what many Christians are thinking. This world is done messed up. Jesus can appear at anytime and He would be welcome. But would He?

This morning, as I was sitting in an in-person church service (gasp!) I was listening to a message based on John 14:1-6. The Preacher read verses 4-6. His focus was on Thomas’ response to Jesus’ statement, “You know where I am going”, which was “Lord we don’t know where you are going.” Rather than address the context of the passage, we went on to a message about ignorance, and why there is no excuse for it. I was more curious about why Thomas would answer Jesus like that. I was far more curious about why Jesus said what He did, because, It’s Jesus!

I believe as Christians we ought to be a little more interested in what Jesus said and did in the Bible. Whenever Jesus speaks or Jesus acts, that ought to get our attention. I also believe we are far too jaded, and we are addicted to sound bytes and meme culture. Just take the picture above. “You are the light of the world, and a city set on a hill cannot be hid.” Jesus said those words. Jesus departed the Heavenly Places, put on flesh and became an infant, grew up like an ordinary person, to stand on a hillside and say these words. Jesus always spoke with purpose and decision. These are not random words, nor words you can just post on a billboard and walk away. This is Jesus. This is something. You don’t have to wait for the Day of Judgment to meet Him. He’s right here! He is speaking. All we need to do is listen.

So what is He saying here?

His explanation is in verse 16: “Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.” That is what “You are the light of the world” means. Light means good works. Light is obvious and can be seen for miles. But the kind of light He was talking about wasn’t flood lights or any kind of electric light. He refers in verse 15 to lighting a lamp with the potential of being able to block it with a basket. So the kind of light He is referring to is something everyone where would have been familiar with, lamplight.

If your city set on a hill, it would be obvious both during the day, and during the night. With all of those lamps during the night, you can easily see the city through the lights in the windows because the lamps give light to all who are in the houses.

But why use this analogy of light? I want to draw your attention to the kinds of light he uses as examples: the lights of a city at night, the light of a lamp in a house. Both kinds of light are welcoming and represent safety. When you are out in the field after dark, you look for the lights of the city to guide your way home. If you are in a dark house and you need to do something, you light a lamp to make everything visible. You won’t stub your toe when you can see where you are going.

So when we are the “light of the world” He isn’t talking about sunlight, but the kind of light that guides people home, and throws light into dark spaces. Think about how our good works, or examples of mercy and righteousness do both of those things. Do you do your good works in such a way that is persuasive, invitational, and prompts people to want to follow you “home”? Do your good works throw light in dark situations, like a workplace, the marketplace, or your family?

Pay attention. Jesus is speaking. What He has to say is important. Don’t dash off get busy, but stay a while. Listen. Hear. You don’t have to wait for the “end of days” for Jesus. He is right here, right now, speaking to you.

Dear Lord, I need this kind of patience, this kind of attention because my life gets so busy. I feel like I have a million things to do, and no time to do them. But I need to sit at your feet. I need to listen. I need to act on what I have learned, once I have learned it. Help me Lord to be present when You are speaking. In Your Name I pray, Amen.

Acts of Service


While my girls were debating when to do dishes last night, I went into the kitchen, starting running the hot water, and started dishes. I didn’t want to do dishes. But in these times when there is little to do, I felt I needed to do something. Both of my girls jumped in to help, and we finished the whole counter-top full in about 30 minutes. Mission accomplished.

I’ve been feeling a lot like this lately, needing to do something to feel like I’ve done something. I had someone ask me yesterday what purpose there was to life, and what was normal. I honestly was stumped at the time, because in the moment, I’d never really thought about the answers to those questions, but maybe that person’s lostness if your gain, because there are answers to those questions.

The verse above reminds us of Jesus’ purpose. He came to serve rather than be served. He came to give rather than receive. And so you have the passage in Acts, “It is more blessed to give than to receive.” Jeus exemplified this by His life. I wonder what a change that must have been for Jesus, who had sat in the Trinity of God, in complete and holy community, served by thousands upon thousands of angels, needing nothing. What a change from that to being human, one of us, where NEED is a daily event. We need to breathe. We need to sleep, eat, drink, wear clothes, work, and so on. What was it like for the Divine Son of God to suddenly come into a world of NEED.

And yet, in this world, He chose to serve. Though He needed, He served. Though He needed, He gave. And this is the One we choose to serve.

I told this individual that normal is when you are at peace. I feel most normal when I am at home, but that’s not entirely true, because I also feel incredible peace when I have helped someone discover Jesus, when they have received the peace of God, or when we have concluded prayer and that person says, “Thank you, I feel much better.” I receive great peace in that moment, and I feel normal. I dare say I feel more peace in that moment than sitting at home surrounded by my family. But maybe it is a different kind of normal. It more blessed to give than to receive.

But what about the purpose of life? Are there any answers to be found there? Yes. Jesus came to fulfill a specific purpose in His life. He came to be the sacrifice for our sins. But before this, He needed to establish men who would be able to put that death into context. Thus He trained and discipled 12 who be able to understand the nature of his death, burial and resurrection once He had appeared to them after his resurrection. Had Jesus trained no one, and simply went to the cross and died, no one would have understood it. There needed to be people who would be able to put it into context and understand itd importance. So Jesus needed to both form and train disciples to carry on the meaning and intent of His work (to save the world from sin through the gospel) and to carry out the actual event, namely His crucifixion, burial and resurrection.

What purpose does your life have? First, fulfill what Jesus set out to accomplish for you, your salvation and rebirth as a believer in Christ. You don’t want to believe in Jesus? Fine. I challenge you to find a better alternative. Second, set about in your life fulfilling the goals that Jesus set forth, bring new people to faith.

But what about me? What about what I want? Wait a minute. Are you saying that you have a purpose apart from what Jesus calls you to do? Then by all means, I challenge you to find a better purpose than what Jesus has set out to do. You see, the call of Jesus to tell others about Him will be as challenging and varied as the circumstances of life you find yourself in. And it will be as creatively challenging as you make it. This simple command can be accomplished in an unlimited number of ways, and I challenge you to find the way that works out best for your past, your life, your abilities, and your situation. But do not tell me there is not purpose to life. We have been given the greatest purpose by the greatest Authority for the greatest mission in this world. And we are privileged to be the ones who to carry it out. God does not write in big, bold letters in the sky. He writes His word on our hearts that it may be shared from our lips. For God, that is the greatest testimony: lives changed becaue of the gospel.

So what about you? What ways can you share the gospel today? I encourage you to take up this purpose for your own life, because Jesus took it up for you.

God, please bless all who read this passage today and may You be reflected in them, both now and forever, because You are the great and mighty God. And may we all serve You to the best of our ability, and to the best of the ability You have given to us. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.



Let me add some valuable context and clarification for this verse. If there has been any drawbacks to verifying the Bible, it is this: allowing for single verses to be quoted without any context narrowing and defining their meaning. In context, Jesus is talking to His disciples about the “rich young ruler” who had just turned away, “because he had much riches”, though he had expressed a desire to follow Jesus’ instructions about gaining eternal life. Jesus responded to him by saying that though he had followed the Law, he would also need to seek his possessions and follow Jesus. The man was grieved, “because he had much possessions.”

The disciples are aghast, wondering how anyone could possibly be saved? Remember that for them, a man with much riches was obviously blessed by God. Riches meant spiritual blessing. So in their minds, this man was a saint. Jesus corrects their thinking with what is a New Testament concept, that physically riches are not a sign of spiritual wealth. So for the disciples, they are thinking that if such a man can’t get into heaven, no one can. Jesus corrects them by saying, (Matt 19:23-24) “it will be hard for a rich person to enter the Kingdom of Heaven! … it is easier to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter into the Kingdom of God.”

So what is Jesus saying here? Are riches wrong? No, Jesus isn’t condemning riches, but what happens when a person becomes wealthy. If it is impossible to please God without faith, then you must have faith to get into the Kingdom of Heaven. Faith in God can be clouded or obscured when you put your faith in your possessions. When you see your possessions as more important than following Jesus, which this young man did. He had put his security and hope in his possessions. He felt that without his possessions, he was nothing, and worthless. What we discover is that a life that is based and founded in Jesus is far better than holding riches and wealth. Would God give us riches to bless us? Certainly, but we also remember that any riches we receive are not our own, but given to us to manage for the Kingdom. The reason God gives us riches is to use them for His glory. That is why it is hard for a rich man to enter the Kingdom of Heaven, because he is afraid of losing his wealth for the sake of the Kingdom.

So what does Jesus mean by this enigmatic “with God all things are possible”? He means it is possible for the rich man to be saved. As far as the man himself is concerned, he cannot save himself. That is impossible. But for God, it is possible to save him, because God can do this act of salvation (through the death, burial, and resurrection of His Son, Jesus Christ). The disciples were thinking that it was great blessing (signified by the man’s wealth) that was a sure guarantee of salvation. Jesus corrected them by saying it was not man’s effort (obvious by the man’s ability in business to create wealth) but God’s effort that saves. Within context, that is the meaning of this passage.

I might also use this passage to give hope to the hopeless. To someone who believes they are hopelessly lost. They may see themselves as lost with no hope of redemption, to which I might say, “for man this is impossible, but all things are possible with God.” A man cannot save himself. But God can save him. There is no sin so great committed by an unbeliever that God cannot save him. And that is saying a lot. But let that be hope for you as well. There is nothing you have done in your limited mortality that God is not so offended that He can’t love you any more.

Dear God, may I come before you humble of heart and soul. The things I have done I am certain have offended you and caused anger in you. Yet Father I have no where else to turn. Though I be the greatest sinner of all men, to You alone can I turn for my redemption. I cannot ask this lightly or flippantly, because my sin has been against You. And when I read Your book and hear Your words, I know I am dust. When I see myself through Your eyes, I know my worth and my sin. Lord I repent of my sins. I can do not other. I have offended the King of Heaven, to whom else can I go? Lord I pray for your forgiveness, not because of my righteousness, but because of the righteousness of the Son of God, who confessed His love for me by shedding His blood on the cross. May I claim that forgiveness for my own and receive undeserved righteousness in place of my wickedness? May He lay His blood upon me and cleanse me from my sin? My Savior and my God? I pray these things in Jesus’ Name, Amen.

So That’s What He Meant


It should be no surprise that the Lord means exactly what He says, but we may not know exactly what He means when He says it. As a case in point, we see this passage in Isaiah, where He promises to destroy death. No doubt some saw this as saying no one would ever physically die again. That’s reasonable. But He meant they through the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ, no one who suffer eternal death who embraced Jesus and put their faith in Him.

These promises made her are dependent upon faith in Christ. The destruction of death and the wiping of tears depend upon the Christian faith. The removal of disgrace may not even be realized thus side of heaven, but again, God is a eternal being. The short span of life we consider our whole lives is but a heartbeat to Him. What we consider our whole world is but labor pains to Him heralding our birth into immortality. How we choose to react and live in these scant fee years determines how we will live forever.

Those sound like some significant choices.

Right now you have the choice go follow God, to trust Him based on the evidence you’ve been given, or to deny Him. Your choice today has eternal consequences. But God did not leave Himself without evidence. That is why He abolished death in the resurrection of Jesus Christ. He set forth this single indisputable fact on the landscape of human history. Whether or not you choose to believe it is laid before you.

Lord Jesus I pray for every heart that reads this blog today. May they each consider their choice for eternity and choose to follow You. May fhey consider how much You love them and gave Your life, the life of Your son Christ Jesus, so that we wound live? Lord Jesus so move us to faith in Your holy, precious name, Amen.

He is Risen


Christ the Lord is risen today, allelulia!

That quiet morning two thousand years ago was disturbed by an event unparalleled in history. While all the authorities were resuming work, the religious elite were pleased with themselves that they had saved their faith from a known revolutionary. The Romans were satisfied they had quelled another potential problem. The disciples of Jesus were huddled together, sleeping fitfully because they were terrified of what would happen to them since they lost their Rabbi, especially how they lost Him. Would Judas rat them all out?

But a few women, who braved the early morning air carrying spices, went out to the tomb. Perhaps to see Him one last time before His flesh rotted away, their topic of conversation on their way was how to roll the stone away. Did they know of the armed guard placed over the tomb? Were they worried they might have to convince a handful of guards to stand aside and let them minister their defeated Master?

But the sight that greeted them that morning was not a closed and guarded tomb.

I’ve always wondered why the gospel writers never talk about the actual event of the resurrection. There is no grand depiction of the stone rolling away, or the great moment when Jesus sits up, or when he peels off the grave wrapping. In an echo of Lazarus’ resurrection, there is no moment in the gospels where we see the risen Lord walk out of the tomb. No, by the time the gospels catch up to the event, it has already passed.

The women come upon an empty tomb, with the stone rolled away, the guards fled, the angels standing there over an empty pallet which once held the body of Jesus. The woman are told calmly and peacefully, “He is not here. He is risen just as He said.” There is a gentle scolding in that statement. Oh faithless followers, didn’t you believe? Didn’t He say He would rise again? Why did you not believe?

The women fled the tomb to tell the others, especially Peter, especially Peter, who of all the disciples most sorely needed to hear this message. Mary of Magdala still didn’t understand, and stayed behind, grieving, how could someone have taken the body? Of all the insults their “leaders” could have played on them, now they desecrate the body of the Lord? That is until the “gardener” shows up for work that morning. Maybe he knows what happened? But when she pours out her concerns to him, he responds with the most beautiful word she could ever hear, because it comes from the lips of the One she loves most, “Mary.” She falls to her feet and grasps them. The angels were right, He is RISEN! He’s ALIVE! Death could not hold Him. Their enemies could not defeat HIM. By the time John and Peter arrive, Mary has already left with her instruction to tell the others. John rushes into the tomb while Peter is still trying to grasp what he is seeing. John’s witness to the empty tomb includes the fact that he saw the graveclothes laid aside, with the facecloth folded up by itself. Jesus’ resurrection body passed through the graveclothes without needed to unwrap them. This is our first clue that Jesus isn’t what He used to be.

Over the course of the day, we see Jesus making various appearances to credible witnesses in diverse situations. Paul says in 1 Corinthians 15 that one appearance was to His brother, James. James didn’t believe in his brother. He didn’t believe in His mission, and thought he was crazy. No doubt he mourned the loss of his brother, but probably thought Jesus got what was coming to Him. He didn’t expect Jesus to appear to him. I wish I was a fly on the wall during that conversation. But the transformation to James was night and day. James not only becomes a believer (and perhaps one of the first converts after Jesus’ resurrection) but becomes a leader in the Jerusalem church and an author of a New Testament book, The Letter of James.

The Day of the Resurrection of Jesus changed everything. His followers were no longer down and out, but out and proud, proclaiming the work of God through His Son Jesus Christ. Jesus wasn’t just a country preacher, but the very God of very God, the Son who speaks the words of God. In Jesus we could all put our faith and our hope, for His return was very soon. We could have hope for the future. Since He rose from the dead, we can rise from the dead. In Jesus is all the hope we will ever need. All of this because of that Easter morning two thousand years ago. I look forward to the future, no matter how bleak the present, because He LIVES!